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Course Corrections for the Writer in the New Year

Mistakes were Made

By KJ AartilaPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 3 min read
Course Corrections for the Writer in the New Year
Photo by Hannah Olinger on Unsplash

It’s early for me in the days of deciding to take the writing craft seriously, and take it professional. I’m learning as I go, and plan to use this new year to educate myself, build my writing business and correct the mistakes I know I’ve already made.

What I’m doing right

There are several things that I must acknowledge that I have gotten “right” so far.

Writing Routine

I have established a pretty decent writing routine, with a set place and time. I love early mornings, so this has not been difficult for me. I also organized and decluttered my work space, which helps my flow and productivity..

A Change of Mindset

I started referring to myself as a writer, both in my head and publicly. This helps me take the idea more seriously, making writing a priority and success a goal.

Joining Vocal

Joining the Vocal writing platform has encouraged me to write, practice writing outside of my comfort zone, and challenge myself to improve my writing. It has also been very encouraging to engage with like-minded people. Which also helps me maintain accountability.

What I’ve Done Wrong

While I am comfortable with the things I’m getting right, I need to acknowledge some of the things that I did incorrectly. I’m learning as I go,.

No Agent

I did not have a finished, or even really begun, full-length novel in hand, so hadn’t even really considered acquiring an agent. I was, and still am, relatively unfamiliar with the publishing process, but have come to the realization that having an agent is an important factor when going through the traditional publishing route.

Signed with a Publisher

I signed with a publisher, who approached me and is also quite new. Against my better judgment, but with stars in my eyes, I signed. It has not been a horrible experience, but definitely a learning one.

My Next Steps to Becoming a Successful Author

Complete my next novel

Every writing adventure is a learning process. I have one full length novel under my belt so far. It sits with a publisher, but is yet to be published. As of this writing, it sits in limbo, as the publisher has control over it, so the result of that endeavor remains to be seen.

Query and find an agent

Once I have completed and effectively edited my current work-in-progress, I can query agents, hopefully connecting with one successfully.

Keep writing and learning

Through practice and engagement; reading and researching, I will keep writing, sharing my work, and stretching my mind and skills through engagement with readers and writers. I plan to stick with the Vocal writing platform and Facebook groups. I love having a place to easily build and share my portfolio, as well as the enjoyment and feedback I get from the interactions with virtual friends.

Build email list for self-promotion

This step I’m just learning. I wish I would have implemented it sooner, but I’m attempting to progress with it now. It’s another one of those things that I’ll re-evaluate and improve on as I go. I expect I may stumble here and there, as this is completely new territory.

Most of all, what I’ve learned so far is to just start.The only perfect time is now, and there’s no better, or quicker, way to lean than to basically throw yourself into the fire. Be open-minded and learn as you go. Even with all of it’s challenges and missteps, the process is enjoyable and exhilarating!

Thank you for reading! As it is my goal to find success as a writer, I aspire to continue learning and re-evaluating the steps I take. What is the most important aspect you’ve learned on your journey so far? What is your next planned step forward?


About the Creator

KJ Aartila

A writer of words in northern WI with a small family and a large menagerie.

My Substack

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Comments (2)

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  • U.Rdiyaabout a year ago

    Inspiring Article Keila! Thank you for sharing your experience, so that others could learn from it.

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  • JBazabout a year ago

    Great layout and plan, I like the review process of the past year combining with goals for the new year.

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